What tomatoes will you grow in 2018?


#1

With 380 posts in the last year’s topic, I decided to open a new one for 2018. I sow tomato seeds in mid-late December, this is why I started this topic now (kind of early for most people).

Last year I grew 16 varieties. This year I decided to keep 8 from the last year and add 8 new ones.

Keepers from the last year:
Arbuznyi — a black/striped tomato, not very productive, but unique taste, which I like very much.
Black from Tula — a great black tomato, I like it more than Black Krim.
Black Giant — a black tomato with very good taste, quite early for a large tomato.
Paul Robeson — a black tomato with excellent taste.
Pruden’s Purple — an excellent dark pink tomato.
Bear Claw — our favorite pink tomato, excellent taste.
Stump of the World — a large pink beafsteak tomato, very good.
Kellogg’s Breakfast — the only yellow tomato (out of three from the last year) I decided to keep. It was a bit later than the rest, which is good to spread out the peak of production.

New additions for 2018:
Black Cherry
Carbon
Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye
Mortgage Lifter
Gordost Sibiri
Neves Azorean Red
Thessaloniki
SunGold F1

As you can see, I decided to add two cherry tomatoes (Black Cherry and SunGold), mainly to start the production earlier. I would appreciate if you have comments on any of these varieties.


#2

Sounds like a good list. You seem to like you some black tomatoes! Of those you’ve grown, I’ve only grown Paul Robeson, Gordost Sibiri and Mortgage Lifter. Our tomatoes got hit by deer bad this season, so I didn’t get a good evaluation of some varieties.

I can say tho, that GS is a solid producer, good disease resistance, and the fruit has a good flavor. We’ll grow it again next year.

I have tried PR for the last two seasons, but disease and deer only allowed a few fruit for me. But, I do like it, kinda has that smokey black tom flavor. Don’t know if it’ll get a spot next year.

We seem to have problems with the purple/black tom’s here, but this one performed the best. We’ve also tried Black Krim, and Black Trifele, and Black Brandywine, and they didn’t do well.

ML seemed to grow well, but after two seasons, its production and blah flavor lost it its spot in the garden.

I’m not saying those that did poorly are bad varieties, I’m still learning how to grow these things well. Seems I’m fighting deer and disease alot here.

I can say that Chocolate Cherry, Gordost Sibiri, Jaune Flamme, Russian Queen and De Barao have been our favorites and best performers.

I’ll list our potential varieties for next year in another post.


#3

They’re all great tomatoes! I’ve grown them all in the past. In 2018 I have room for two plants which will likely be Black From Tula and one smaller variety – probably a black zebra.


#4

I have seen mixed reviews on Mortgage Lifter and was hesitant on adding it, but my wife insisted we try it. :wink:


#5

I think it will do well in your climate.


#6

We grow 32 tomato plants — two of each variety. Tomatoes are pretty much the only vegetable I eat and I eat a lot of them. We give some away to friends and sun dry the rest. The problem is that when it becomes very hot in mid-summer, the production decreases significantly.


#7

I really need to rein in the number of varieties for next year. I think we’ll keep it down to 30 total plants this time. Two each of everything, and maybe three each of our favorites.

I’ll never do what I did in '16, 33 varieties and 70 plants!! That was insane. I didn’t even get to evaluate many of them as a lot got hit bad by disease. That was a very humid, rainy and warm summer, and the plants suffered.

Folks say it’s a very good fruit, but it just didn’t work well here. I’ll blame it on me still learning about how to grow tom’s, and our weather. It’ll prob do well in your environment.


#8

I haven’t grown either one. But we have grown Chocolate Cherry, and it always gives us oodles of fruit, and is a very vigorous grower. The taste is awesome, sweet, tart and smokey. It always will get a spot in our garden. It’s been a foolproof tom for a newb like me.

If Black Cherry is close to it, it’ll be great.


#9

My heat and humidity are similar to yours. What tomatoes have you found to have the best disease resistance with the best taste?


#10

If you’re in Georgia, it’s probably even more hotter and humid where you’re at. This summer was our worst, very humid and actually hot, like in the low 90s some days. But normal temps here in the summer are in the 80s.

Anyways, the ones that I listed above work well for us: Chocolate Cherry, Gordost Sibiri, Jaune Flamme, Russian Queen, de Barao, also Orange KY Beefsteak, Siberian Pink Honey, and Abe Lincoln. We might try some hybrids next year, just so we can get some production.

I will say that these that we grew this year will not get a spot next year: Pineapple, Red Calabash, and Watermelon Beefsteak. Stingy producers. I also like Brandywine tomatoes, but even tho they are very vigorous, beautiful plants, they just don’t give you a lot of fruit.


#11

I always have problems with tomato diseases so that’s my major consideration. Last year I grew Sungold (F1) from Jonneyseeds. It was the healthiest and vigorous plant I’ve grown. Actually it was too vigorous. I’d like to find something from the same breading program that doesn’t grow as tall. In September I pulled out all my tomato plants except for one Sungold. I pulled that one out around Nov 10th. With the sun low it was only getting about 3 to 4 hours sun a day plus most days were cloudy so it wasn’t even getting that. When I pulled it, it still had about 100 tomatoes, was still flowering and was healthy. Next year I’ll use some supports that will allow it to grow to 7 ft before I have to start pruning.


#12

I hear a lot of good things about Sungold. What kind of flavor does it have?

My most vigorous growers seem to be the smaller fruited varieties, like Russian Queen, Chocolate Cherry and Jaune Flamme. Maybe it’s because the fruit is small, so it has a chance to put on more vegetative growth?

Determinate plants usually are bushier than indet’s, but they produce all at once, instead of continuously. The only determinate I’ve grown is Cyril’s Choice, it was about 3-4ft tall max, but not real productive. San Marzano plants tend to be low to ground and dense. They are productive, but they have always been disease magnets for me, prob because of the dense foliage. Hence, I stopped growing them.

I’ve had several of my plants get to 6-7ft in the garden. I stake all my plants with 3-4ft tobacco sticks, but sometimes those don’t work! I just have to let those tall branches flop over sometimes.


#13

We, too, have done a lot of tomato growing, keeping some varieties, while letting others off the hook. Of the ones we love, here are some highlights:

• Cherokee Chocolate
• Large Pink Bulgarian
• Orange Strawberry (which, as we like to point out, is neither)
• Black Sea Man
• Spear’s Tennessee Green
• Isis Candy Cherry
• Aunt Ruby’s German Green
• Black Krim
• Brandywine OTV

We like the big, smoky, complicated, dark tomatoes that make any sandwich an experience.


#14

I grew Orange Strawberry and Black Krim last year. OS’ taste didn’t impress me. BK was not bad but I liked other blacks (e.g., Black from Tula and Paul Robson) more.

Is Black Sea Man indeterminate or determinate? I’ve seen different descriptions.


#15

I get my seeds from Gary at Tomatofest, and he says Black Sea Man are determinant.


#16

And, in your experience, how long is the ripening window for this tomato?


#17

Stan, I’ve been impressed with Black Krim in my environment but just like you my taste buds prefer Black from Tula. Paul Robeson takes it up another notch but I don’t have enough degree days for it.


#18

Is Cherokee Chocolate a darker version of Cherokee Purple?

We’ve grown Aunt Ruby’s, they were big beautiful plants, and grew big fruit, but we didn’t get a chance to taste a properly ripened one before disease hit it. What’s a good ripe one taste like?

Is the Brandywine OTV a more prolific BW? What color is it? We have grown the black, pink and yellow versions. The yellow is very tasty but it just didn’t produce a lot for us. Black seemed more productive tho.


#19

I’m not good at describing tomato flavor but I can say they are excellent. I use to grow sweet 100 but problems with disease and cracking was too much. Sungold also cracks after heavy rain but not near as bad as sweet 100 and most of the fruit stays usable even after they crack. Sungold also stores well.


#20

With not enough sunny days and humid summers Black Krim was disappointing for me. Productivity was low and flavor was mediocre. I’ll try one of the other recommended blacks this year.